The Quarry is a video game version of a fun slasher flick

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The Quarry is the next game coming from Supermassive, the studio behind Until Dawn and the Dark Pictures Anthology. I got to play a short bit of the game in a preview this week. Superficially, it’s very similar to those games, but it’s got some fun, campy (no pun intended) vibes that its predecessors lacked.

The game is a summer camp horror flick in video game form, set in the fictional Hackett’s Quarry. You play a handful of teenaged camp counselors having one more night of fun at the end of summer. During their night of fun, some human hunters and something supernatural crash the party. It’s up to the player to keep as many of them alive as possible, and the choices you make as you play will determine their fates. Yeah, it’s Until Dawn-meets-Friday the 13th.

It’s rough being a camp counselor

I didn’t get to play a huge amount of the game, but I did get to play as a few of the kids during my preview period. Well, I say “kids” — they’re all played by actors ranging in age from mid-20s to early 30s. And yet I get a more kid-like feeling from them than I did from the characters in Until Dawn. They finagle a way to stay one more night at the camp alone and are explicitly told to stay inside where it’s safe. So what do they do? Go outside to have a big party. Sounds about right.

The characters fit the usual teenager archetypes that Supermassive used in Until Dawn. You’ve got the bro, the shy girl, the pretty blonde, and of course one character who’s the de facto leader. None of them have a lot of depth, at least not from what I saw. You’ll probably be able to spot the murder victims and the possible final girl/guy as soon as you see them. If you’re a real horror movie fan, you’ll probably be able to guess their death order.

There is the occasional odd bit of mocap, where a character’s face doesn’t quite move as naturally as I assume their actor did. But it’s not as big a deal here as it was in Until Dawn, I assume because it doesn’t put the camera quite so close to their faces as the latter game didn’t. For the most part the actors did a good job of acting like what adults think silly teens act like.

Who’s on first?

My only complaint that so far is that the perspective shifts aren’t particularly well-demarcated. During the first bit of gameplay, it switched between characters every few minutes. Sometimes my only indication that I was playing as someone new was either when a new dialogue prompt for that person came up, or when I paused and their face was all over the menu screen.

That’s not a big deal, except they’re selling a lot of the characters’ connections, and I want to make the right decisions for those characters. It’s hard to do if I’m not exactly sure, from one moment to the other, which character I’m playing.

Also, just a bit of news, but the game won’t have the multiplayer available at launch. Maybe I’m not using my imagination, but I’m not sure if “multiplayer” is the right way to frame this mode: It’s a co-op mode where people watching the game can vote on what decision a player makes. I’m curious to see how much use this will get when it launches sometime after the game does.

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